Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Firebird Event: Interview with Claudia Gray!


Hey Everyone!

I am very excited to share my interview with the lovely Claudia Gray, author of A Thousand Pieces of You!


Hi Claudia! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have you on my blog and how happy I am to be promoting your upcoming novel A Thousand Pieces of You!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog and helping spread the word about A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU!

How did you come up with the premise of A Thousand Pieces of You? It is quite different from your Evernight and Spellcaster series, and standalone novel Fateful.

It *is* a departure from what I've done before, but to me it feels like the kind of story I've always wanted to tell. The idea came to me during back-to-back book tours of the US and Australia -- I felt as though I were waking up in a different world every day, but always with the same people. Many of the books I read on the planes wound up informing the various universes Marguerite visits on her journeys. And I knew from the start that I was going to have SO MUCH FUN with this. 

I absolutely adore the cover of A Thousand Pieces of You, how did you feel when you first saw the cover?

I was so, so happy when we wound up with a lovely cover for the book. It took a LONG TIME to nail this one; those bloggers who got ARCs know they have black covers with plain type! We had to come up with a visual concept that would communicate "different dimensions," and that turns out not to be the easiest idea to communicate via images. But the designer nailed it in the end, and I've been thrilled by the great response we've seen. 

*This cover is seriously one of the most gorgeous young adult covers I have ever seen!*

As well as a beautiful cover, this novel also contains beautiful character names like Marguerite. How did you come up with character names?

Oh, I'm so glad you like Marguerite's name! I always choose names based on what their parents would have chosen -- not only is this how the vast majority of us actually get our names, but if you know something about a character's parents and those parents' expectations when the child is born, you have a bit of valuable backstory. In this book, I knew the characters would have origins with ties to many different cultures, to maximize the number of universes I could believably take them too. So Marguerite's mother is of Russian descent, but her family lived in France for a few generations between the Russian Revolution in the present day. Therefore she chose the French version of a name that has variations in many different cultures/languages. Marguerite's older sister, Josephine, has a more straightforwardly French name. Paul Markov was born in the US to parents who were recent immigrants from Russia; they went with the English form of his name, which in Russian would be Pavel. Theo's antecedents are Dutch, so forth and so on. Also, while I've always had a name or two in my previous books that I wasn't 100% sold on but never knew for sure what would be better -- not with this one. In the Firebird trilogy, everybody gets their best name!

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what was one song that really stood out to you when writing A Thousand Pieces of You?

Always listen to music when I write! I come up with soundtracks for every book of mine, usually carrying some songs through an entire series. In the case of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, I came up with separate soundtracks for each universe! But there is one theme song, and I can't really explain why, but it's so so true: "Breath of Life" by Florence + the Machine was hugely inspirational during my writing process. According to iTunes, I listened to it 403 times while working on the first book alone! (I've just finished my draft of book two, and I think I'm around 650 now?) The lyrics don't particularly line up with anything in the story, but something about that hard driving determination takes me right into Marguerite's head as the book begins. That song has been huge for me. 

Out of all your characters within A Thousand Pieces of You, which was the hardest to write? And also which character did you feel like you connected with the most?

Of all the characters, I would say that the one who was hardest to write is *also* the one I connected to the most -- namely, Paul. By nature he's very quiet; when he does speak, though, he can be tactless -- sometimes in hurtful ways, sometimes hilariously. Paul lacks some social skills, is what I'm saying. I relate to that so much. Too much. 

That said, I really love all these guys. Even characters who appear in only one dimension have worked their way into my heart. I'm looking forward to writing stories on Wattpad about all of them. 

A Thousand Pieces of You is the first of the Firebird Trilogy, are you currently writing/planning the second novel or do you have another project you are working on?

I've just finished my draft of the second Firebird novel! (And am taking notes/making plans for the third.) That said, I do have other projects in the works ... nothing I can talk about right now, but before the year is out, I hope to have lots of news to share.

*I am freaking out because the sequel already exists!!! I must find a way to access Claudia's computer/laptop*

Thank you so much Claudia for visiting my blog today!

Don't forget to enter the amazing giveaway genoursly offered by Between the Covers (HarperCollins Australia) YA!

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2 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more with that cover, it's hands down the most beautiful modern day cover I've seen! I have the entire Evernight series and also Fateful, which I haven't got around to reading yet, and this sounds incredibly different to her previous works. More mature and the characters being well thought out and also realistic. Playing the one song 650 times? I wonder how many times she started typing out the lyrics while writing only to realise what she was doing . LOL.

    Brilliant interview Pavan, thanks so much for sharing <3

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